First UK Measles Death Suspected In South Wales – Who Is Responsible?


Having blamed Dr Andrew Wakefield for the current measles outbreak, the media and health officials telegraphed their intention last Sunday to blame him for the first UK death from measles for some years eg. First death feared in MMR scare The Sunday Times By Mark Hookham 14 April 2013.

And now today just a short while ago the first suspected death is being reported: Death of 25-year-old man being investigated as part of South Wales measles outbreak:  Daily Mail 11:10, 19 April 2013 Rachel Reilly.

It is not known whether the man did have measles or died from it nor whether he had been vaccinated.  An omission from early reports today is why anyone suspects a measles infection.  Nothing is said which is somewhat odd.

This man would have been around 18 months old when the MMR vaccine was introduced so could well have been vaccinated then.  But it is not so easy to blame Dr Wakefield.  The suspected but unconfirmed measles victim would also have been 10 years old when Dr Wakefield came on the scene in 1998. A post-mortem is expected to be carried out later to confirm the cause of death, according to police and public health officials say the news reports.

This situation  has occurred despite UK vaccination rates being at an all time high and despite the majority of measles cases being in the 1 to 5 age group as confirmed in Parliament by Lord Howe.

If this man has died as a result of measles then the people clearly blameworthy are Dr David Salisbury and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.  Ever since 1998 they purposefully and intentionally took away the sensible option of allowing those parents who did not trust the MMR vaccine or government assurances to have access to a single measles vaccine.

With MMR vaccination rates claimed to be at well over 90% and approaching 95%, there is a small minority of less than 10% not availing themselves of the MMR vaccine.  So if there are parents who did not then and now still do not trust Dr Salisbury and the JCVI over the MMR vaccine – and they have good reasons not to – they are a minority who have been deprived of single measles vaccines since 1998 when Dr Salisbury and the JCVI oversaw the withdrawal of the option of single vaccines then.

So to get the coverage up higher would only take having an option of a single measles vaccine for between 3% and 5% of the remainderThat could easily have been achieved across the entire EU but instead health officials did nothing about it – leaving those parents and their children with nothing.

It was government saying to parents its “our way or the highway” – which is a dangerous precedent politically to set over any aspect of healthcare.  No choice and no freedom.

But a policy of choice would see higher combined rates of uptake with those few families taking the single measles vaccine.  The long sought and repeatedly W.H.O. postponed nirvana for public health policy of the eradication of measles in the UK could have been achieved a decade ago if not for Professor Salisbury and his JCVI.  This post would not be being written now.

It is clearly nonsense to blame Dr Wakefield for something which has solely been within the control of Dr Salisbury and the JCVI for a decade and a half.  Dr Wakefield did not decide to withdraw the vaccine – Dr Salisbury and others did, so they must accept responsibility for their own decisions and stop trying to scapegoat others.  They have sat back complaining about vaccination uptake for 14 years with the sensible option available to them throughout.

And politically, what is the role of the state in public health matters affecting individual children and their families?  At what point is the State justified in intervening? Should parents have the right to decide wisely or not on matters affecting the health of their children.  Should the state override and intervene and if so, when and to what degree? Can the state be trusted to? Or more to the point, can those officials entrusted with the task be?

Or should the State facilitate by offering choice in a matter so important that choice could be the only and best sensible approach – common sense prevailing.

Health officials and the media were hedging their bets in trying recently to pin a feared death on Dr Wakefield last weekend.  There have been 76,000 reported cases of measles in the UK since 1992 but only two deaths since then from acute measles and none in healthy children:

Prior to 2006, the last death from acute measles was in 1992.”


“In 2006 there was one measles death in a 13 years old male who had an underlying lung condition and was taking immunosuppressive drugs. Another death in 2008 was also due to acute measles in unvaccinated child with congenital immunodeficiency whose condition did not require treatment with immunoglobulin.

3 Responses

  1. The list of cases and deaths since 1940 is fascinating. The early years showed a death rate quite high even though it has been considered a mild illness. I suspect that mercury was used in these early years and would turn a mild illness into a more serious one. Medical practice now known today to have been imperfect?

    Then for many years it again was mild with 20 times less deaths.

    And the illness was declining.

    In very recent years the number of cases is extremely low but it does seem to a more dangerous illness than the time when mercury compounds were put on the spots.

    The danger is inexplicable to me as in theory the illnesses should according to vaccine scientists be more mild than wild measles was in the past. Something is not right with vaccine science it seems,

    It is important to do the same for this illness as for smallpox a similar and successfully eliminated vaccine preventable illness. It must be eliminated or the results seen in many different areas and abroad will cause it to reappear for the next hundred years and more.

    On the issue of pinning the blame on one doctor out of more than a dozen who studied unrelated matters of autism with gut issues this strikes as absolute barminess.

    One person is hardly likely to affect the nations vaccine policy and the uptake but is convenient to shift blame when clearly those few who do get the illness seem to be at bigger risk than before.

    Regulators, industry and government MUStT take the responsibility for their vaccine schedules and the health or sudden infant death, autism et al that may results from its overuse. Beginning with recent government allowing any vaccine harm to go unpunished and often not acknowledged. Imagine this in the aircraft industry where accidents would be just ignored?

    The issues of vaccines are simple and clear. While preventing illness for a child of 5 or 6 when the illness is indeed mild the normal event is that with vaccines the age of getting ill is likely to shift upwards on average. any vaccine scientist will know that in the effort to rid us of vaccine preventable illness many will get ill or suffer until the elimination is complete.

    25 years of age to get measle would at one time be unknown and it seems then the illness is no longer mild.

  2. John,

    Thanks for the comments.

    “Attenuation” is of course a well-known natural phenomenon which means the disease diminishes in severity with time. It happens with most infectious diseases.

    And also there is the separate effect of improved nutrition and living conditions alongside attenuation.

    Scurvy mortality is a disease of deficiency and not infection and that diminished over time as people became better off and were better nourished.

    There may be other factors at play but those seem the most effective ones.

  3. Tackling problems on the fire alarm principle:

    We have a number of people getting ill with a VACCINE PREVENTABLE illness. We need to get VACCINES to the population EXPOSED as some will certainly be harbouring LIVE MEASLES and will in turn pass this virus to others. An epidemic in the making?

    Imagine giving them SINGLE measles vaccine BUT they have already the virus. We change NOTHING.

    Imagine now giving a collection of OTHER LIVE viruses to that same person! He now not only has rampant MEASLES but with BAD LUCK will also get RAMPANT RUBELLA and RAMPANT MUMPS.

    Nothing like KICKING a sick person.

    And then coming back to :

    KICK him again.

    MMR or do we give them MMRV with another ANTIGEN to add to their worries?

    Or the latest greatest try 7 at once to add to your measles POX. This one killed 6 out of 76 in recent trials!

    Have these doctors, regulators and vaccine scientists got ANY SENSE especially COMMON SENSE?

    They talk of COMMON SENSE and the need to get vaccine protected from one day upwards in a babies life.

    Then using their LOGIC, the best and ONLY sensible thing to do with an OLDER person suspected of harbouring or being exposed to measles is to give JUST that vaccine, nothing else, just measles vaccine for a measles outbreak. Why give other live viruses to a sick person?

    Single measles ONCE available but sadly no longer is just another example of our BACKWARD TECHNOLOGY and an alternative explanation why we are going BACKWARDS in our overall health when measles today is clearly a bigger threat than before.

    USA for example with its 2013 authority research document (NIH publication) entitled USA 2013 Shorter Lives, Poorer Health.

    Now admitted FACT and with their exports of multivalent vaccines, tylenol, mercury, aluminium, aspartame, GMO foods, fluoride et al.

    What is USA today is US tomorrow? Export and DIE?

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